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Old 09-11-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Chassis battery drain while dry camping

We have been dry camping for three days . I've been running the onboard gen most of the time .

Why are the chassie battery's slowly draining while camped ? While in storage when parked they hold the charge . I didn't think I was running anything that pulls from those battery's . Is there a simple reason for this ?
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:45 AM   #2
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You have to search out what phantom loads are drawing your battery down. Maybe a clamp-on amp meter for DC loads would help identify where they are coming from if a regular DVOM meter doesn't help.

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Old 09-11-2016, 11:08 AM   #3
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I assume you turn off the battery's when in storage? I don't know how old your coach is but my 02 had a phantom load of around 2 amps 24 hrs a day! The biggest culprit was the propane shut off solenoid at the propane tank it was a constant 1 amp . The little indicator lamps on the light switches are constant but I didn't check to see how much. Etc. you would need to put a 10 amp dc ammeter in series with a battery lead and pull fuses to identify which circuits are the cause. Are your battery's in good shape? I got my phantom loads down to around 750 ma and run my generator around 1 hr a day camping.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:47 PM   #4
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What year and model of motorhome?

And, do you turn off the chassis batteries when in storage?

Is this new? Didn't happen last time out?

Do you have an Echo charger for your chassis batteries to keep them charged while on shore or generator power? If so, check it. There is an inline fuse to it that may be blown.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:58 PM   #5
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It's possible something like a dash stereo is wired to the chassis side for some reason. If you do already have or install an Echo charger I think you would only be masking the issue of the draining of the chassis batteries. An Echo charger is a great add-on (I just installed one last week) but you should probably find out what is causing the drain as well.


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Old 09-11-2016, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bootjack View Post
We have been dry camping for three days . I've been running the onboard gen most of the time .

Why are the chassie battery's slowly draining while camped ? While in storage when parked they hold the charge . I didn't think I was running anything that pulls from those battery's . Is there a simple reason for this ?
Are we talking about the starting battery or the living area batteries? There should be only 1 8d battery for this chore? If it is draining down and it hasn't in the past I would suspect a new battery is in your immediate future . If the generator is keeping a charge on it I suspect you do have an echo charger or similar charger in the circuit. As the converter only charges the living area batteries.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:32 PM   #7
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The OP hasn't mentioned the make or model of his coach but my coach has two 8D's for the chassis and two 8D's for the house and one Group 27 for starting the generator. Before installing the Echo charger the converter only charged my house batteries as the previous post stated. It would seem the OP could just disconnect his chassis batteries and see if there is an unexpected loss of power anywhere.


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Old 09-12-2016, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Are we talking about the starting battery or the living area batteries? There should be only 1 8d battery for this chore? If it is draining down and it hasn't in the past I would suspect a new battery is in your immediate future . If the generator is keeping a charge on it I suspect you do have an echo charger or similar charger in the circuit. As the converter only charges the living area batteries.
I am talking bout the starting batteries. I have a 89 CCC 40ft DP It has 2 big batteries for each All four are less than a year old.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rsponsford View Post
The OP hasn't mentioned the make or model of his coach but my coach has two 8D's for the chassis and two 8D's for the house and one Group 27 for starting the generator. Before installing the Echo charger the converter only charged my house batteries as the previous post stated. It would seem the OP could just disconnect his chassis batteries and see if there is an unexpected loss of power anywhere.


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Old 09-12-2016, 11:08 AM   #10
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Put a voltmeter on each bank of batteries with the generator running. Your engine batteries may not be getting charged due to a failure, or by design.

Is there a light under the steps that is running?
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #11
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Put a voltmeter on each bank of batteries with the generator running. Your engine batteries may not be getting charged due to a failure, or by design.

Is there a light under the steps that is running?
It says in my book that chassis battery is only charged by the alt on engine
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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Until you can determine if you really have an excess drain on the chassis batteries try setting the boost switch on while running the generator. That ties both sets of batteries together and you'll charge the chassis battery too. You may have to come up with a way to keep the switch on as mine is a temporary switch and unless held on will shut off.

Then consider something like the Echo Charger so your chassis batteries are charged at the same time the house batteries are charged. There are other devices similar to the Echo Charger like one from Magnum you might want to consider. Try searching this forum for Echo Charger and you'll probably get several alternatives.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Until you can determine if you really have an excess drain on the chassis batteries try setting the boost switch on while running the generator. That ties both sets of batteries together and you'll charge the chassis battery too. You may have to come up with a way to keep the switch on as mine is a temporary switch and unless held on will shut off.

Then consider something like the Echo Charger so your chassis batteries are charged at the same time the house batteries are charged. There are other devices similar to the Echo Charger like one from Magnum you might want to consider. Try searching this forum for Echo Charger and you'll probably get several alternatives.
Not a good idea!

That will eventually burn up the solenoid. Better off purchasing a short 4 or 6 gauge jumper cable with eyes on both ends to attach to the large lugs on each side of the Battery Isolator Solenoid.

Those solenoids are not continuous duty devices. They should only be used for short bursts of energy to get the engine started when the chassis battery is too low to start the engine.

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Old 09-12-2016, 03:57 PM   #14
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The real question isnt so much how to bypass the issue, but eliminate it.

With that in mind. OP, lets try the easy stuff. Make sure you have a (preferably digital) multimeter.

Simple Battery Self Discharge Test
  1. Ensure entire battery bank is fully charged.
  2. Disconnect battery bank from coach
  3. Disconnect batteries from each other
  4. Measure the voltage on each battery. Identify the batteries and record each of their values.
  5. Return 24 or (and) 48 hours later. Record the values again.

If the values arent nearly identical, the batteries could be discharging each other, as one is weaker than the other(s). IF the batteries are basically at resting voltage, and within a small margin of each other, then you know that your batteries are holding charge, and you now should be looking for parasitic loads.

In my coach, the radio is run off the chassis battery. As are a few lights, my electric step, and I believe my slide and level jacks.

Any system you have attached and drawing from your chassis circuit could be causing your draw, including any frayed wire(s).



Next. The question is. Would you rather maintain the charge on the chassis battery, or eliminate your parasitic load? Either one should solve your problem, and the former could contribute to health and longevity of your battery bank.
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